06-15-20 USDA-RMA Administrator’s Message: Innovation and Teamwork, Keys to Disaster Recovery

RMA Administrator Martin Barbre (right) tours farmland of a producer impacted by a breached levee in southern Illinois. In the background lies a barge stranded by flooding. Cairo, Illinois, September 6, 2019

USDA-RMA Administrator’s Message: Innovation and Teamwork, Keys to Disaster Recovery

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2020 – For nearly 25 years, the Risk Management Agency has developed innovative crop insurance products to meet producer’s needs and provide an invaluable safety net in the wake of natural disasters.

During the last crop year, Federal crop insurance paid out roughly $10 billion in total indemnities.  Nearly half of it was due to flooding and excess moisture.  The worst flooding occurred along the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers, with more than 215 levee breaches and approximately half a million acres submerged in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and hardest hit of all – Missouri, which accounted for 80 percent of the total flooded acreage.  I witnessed the devastation firsthand along the rivers last summer. I’ll never forget seeing a barge stranded in the middle of what was once a corn field!

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06-15-20 CDPHE: State health department seeks public input on additional Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors guidance, as well as the next phase — Protect Our Neighbors

CDPHE: State health department seeks public input on additional Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors guidance, as well as the next phase — Protect Our Neighbors

DENVER, June 15, 2020:  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is seeking feedback on additional draft guidelines for the Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors public health order. Coloradans can review draft guidelines in the following areas:

The deadline for providing feedback is Wednesday, June 17, at 5 p.m. The draft guidance may be updated based on stakeholder feedback and will be finalized on Thursday, June 18.

CDPHE is also soliciting feedback on an upcoming public health order — Protect Our Neighbors. The Protect Our Neighbors phase comes after Stay at Home and Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors phases.

Coloradans can review the draft framework, and provide feedback by Thursday, June 18, 11:59 p.m.: Continue reading

06-15-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: More Progress Needed on U.S. Beef Access to Saudi Arabia

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: More Progress Needed on U.S. Beef Access to Saudi Arabia

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – June 15, 2020 – Saudi Arabia recently lifted its 30-month cattle age restriction on U.S. beef, opening the market for beef from cattle of all ages. But Travis Arp, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior director of export services, explains that other product restrictions remain in place that continue to inhibit U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia, including feed ration requirements that are unique to the Saudi market.

In 2011, the last full year of access prior to the BSE case that prompted Saudi officials to close the market, U.S. beef exports to Saudi Arabia surpassed $30 million and were on a decidedly upward trajectory. After a four-year closure, the market reopened in 2016 but as Arp explains, exports have been slow to rebound. Last year exports to Saudi Arabia totaled $14.3 million. Through April of this year, exports were substantially below the 2019 pace at $3.3 million.

Arp on Saudi Arabia Beef Access 6-15-20

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06-15-20 CO Governor Polis Introduces Protect Our Neighbors Framework, Announces New Draft Safer at Home Guidelines

For Immediate Release

Governor Polis Introduces Protect Our Neighbors Framework, Announces New Draft Safer at Home Guidelines

Monday, June 15, 2020 – DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today announced Protect Our Neighbors, a framework that will empower local governments that can demonstrate strong public health and health care systems, paired with low virus levels, to make decisions about how they should reopen. The Governor also announced additional draft guidelines under Safer at Home and discussed the state’s efforts to prepare for a potential second wave of the virus.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we have to find a way to sustainably live with this virus in our communities until there is a cure or vaccine. If we can continue to wear masks, stay six feet away from others and empower our local public health agencies to meet the needs of their communities, then we can rely on these tools to flatten the potential second wave and reduce future outbreaks,” Governor Polis said. “Strong local public health and health care systems will be critical to successfully reopening our economy. If the key message in April was that we need to flatten the curve, the message now is that we need to take personal responsibility by wearing a mask when leaving the house and social distancing.”

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06-15-20 Inside the BARN with CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg…

Inside the BARN with CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg…

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) June 15, 2020 – Joining me inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network is CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg from District 1  discussing several topics on the national and state levels, including

  • Recent Wild Weather in NE Colorado (Macrobursts, Hail)
  • 20-1420 – Fee to remove Ag Sales Tax Break Repeal – July 1st\
  • This Year’s Legislative Process is on Fast Forward and its Shutting The People Out
  • 20-217 Law Enforcement Reform
  • 20-1427 Cigarette Tax
  • Egg Bill – Cage Free – Cage Size
  • Homestead Property Tax Exemption
  • Livestock Market Manipulation Resolution
  • 20-163 Vaccination Bill
  • Emergency Fund Concerns
  • & More

To listen to the interview, click the audio mp3 link below…


To learn more about CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg – CLICK HERE

06-15-20 Flower Hired as Gelbvieh Association Summer Intern

Flower Hired as Gelbvieh Association Summer Intern

LINCOLN, NE – The American Gelbvieh Association announces the hiring of Payton Flower, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, as association intern. Flower will be assisting in all aspects of AGA operations including member programs and services support, member education, and American Gelbvieh Junior Association Junior Classic activities.

Growing up in western Nebraska provided Flower with the opportunity to develop and expand her interest in agriculture. She exhibited cattle, hogs, and sheep during her involvement with 4-H and FFA and as a high school freshman she started a small cow-calf enterprise with her father.

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 15th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 15th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

U.K. Wants a Quick Deal with the U.S.

Anthony Phillipson, United Kingdom Trade Commissioner for North America, says the U.K. and the U.S. have a “shared ambition” to sign a free trade agreement before the November 3rd U.S. election. Politico says Phillipson spoke last week at a Washington International Trade Association event, acknowledging that many trade experts are skeptical the two sides can complete negotiations quickly. However, he says the U.S. and U.K. had extensive discussions over the outline of a future trade deal well before the first round of formal talks began last month. Additionally, work is continuing to be done in between the formal negotiations. “I think we’re running at this very, very fast in full partnership with our U.S. colleagues,” Phillipson says as another round of formal talks is underway this week. The British trade official borrowed a line from Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who noted that “agriculture is the locomotive” that pulls along the rest of any U.S. trade agreement. American industries have lobbied the Trump Administration to pressure the U.K. to accept American chlorinated chicken, beef hormone standards, and other regulations. Completing the trade talks which began in May over the course of six months would be very fast.


Emergency Motion Filed to Halt All Dicamba Use

An emergency motion was filed late last week, asking a federal court to bring all dicamba use in the U.S. to an immediate halt. DTN says the motion also asks that the Environmental Protection Agency be held in contempt of court for its decision to permit farmers to use their existing stocks of three dicamba herbicides. If the judge agrees, that could once again leave farmers without the dicamba herbicide options they need to use on millions of acres of dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton through the summer growing season. The emergency motion was filed by the same plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit against the EPA in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The suit demanding the court bring an end to the registrations of three dicamba herbicides succeeded on June 3rd when the judge ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor. Five days after that, the EPA issued a cancellation order, ending the registrations but allowing farmers and applicators to continue to use existing stocks until July 31st. The plaintiffs, including the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity, estimated that up to 16 million pounds of dicamba could be applied in the coming weeks, which they say is a direct violation of the court’s ruling.


China May Finally Be Turning to U.S. Soybeans

Chinese importers signed off on contracts to buy more than 700,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans. An Agweek report says most of the sales were for new-crop beans, and it may signal that China is expecting supplies will get tighter in Brazil as they lock in deliveries for after September. A USDA announcement last week says only 63,000 tons of the total amount is set for delivery in the 2019-2020 marketing year, with the remaining amount is set for delivery in the 2020-2021 marketing year, which starts on September 1st. Industry insiders note that the size of the new crop contracts likely means the purchases were made through state-owned buyers. Private purchasers are said to be jumpy over the fate of the Phase One trade pact between China and the U.S. as tensions grow between the two nations. Private buyers are also more likely to still look at South American soybeans to fill their needs because there is no risk of tariffs. The total purchase of 720,000 metric tons of U.S beans is enough to fill 11 ships, and it may signal that China will be counting on the U.S. to fill out its soybean needs over the final half of the calendar year.


Ethanol Industry Getting Impatient with the Trump Administration

Just a year ago, President Donald Trump paid a visit to an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Hagstrom Report says the ethanol industry is now appealing to him directly to look into the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard. Ethanol industry leaders held a telephone news conference last week and sent a letter directly to the president. The industry’s impatience with Trump could hurt him in Iowa and other key ethanol-producing states, which could make this year’s election even more interesting. In the past several months, industry groups have gone after the EPA when it came to mismanaging the RFS. On the call last week, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said, “Ultimately, the buck stops in the Oval Office. We are now appealing to the president to intervene here.” Cooper says the first EPA administrator under Trump, Scott Pruitt, “derailed things.” However, his successor, Andrew Wheeler, hasn’t gotten things going again in the right direction. In the letter, Cooper wrote that “Even after the federal court overturned some refinery waivers in January, your EPA continues to receive dozens of exemption requests from oil companies. EPA is now considering retroactive waivers for years that pre-date your administration. This has to stop.”


Meatpacking Rebounds but Meat Prices Will Likely Remain High

Meat production continues to rebound in the United States from its low point when dozens of plants were closed because of COVID-19. However, industry experts say consumer prices are likely going to stay higher than they’re used to, plus it will take months to work through a backlog of millions of pigs and cattle that had nowhere to go for processing. As of last week, beef, pork, and poultry plants were operating at over 95 percent of 2019 production levels. An Associated Press report says that’s up from 60 percent in April during the height of plant closures and slowdowns. The steps companies took to protect workers from COVID-19 infections were necessary to keep plants running as smoothly as possible. However, those steps will likely slow production somewhat and keep prices higher at the grocery stores. Even if plants become more efficient and get back to full capacity, there is typically a lag of several weeks between the time wholesale prices drop and when consumers start to notice the change. “Don’t expect prices to fall in half just because wholesale prices have declined dramatically,” says Lee Schulz, an Iowa State University livestock economist. Other steps plants are taking to work through the backlog include more processing on Saturdays, as well as saving time by processing meats in larger cuts.


CommonGround Volunteers Continue to Bridge the Gap Between Rural/Urban Residents

The National Corn Growers Association CommonGround volunteers spend a lot of time building bridges between women on the farm and those who live in predominantly urban areas, far removed from farm life. Like everyone else in the country, COVID-19 has changed the way CommonGround volunteers do their work. They may not be hosting large events this summer as the volunteers have in the past, but they’ve taken time through the past few months to find opportunities to connect with women in urban and suburban areas for conversations on social media. From building relationships based in common experiences like learning to home school on the fly to sharing the story of farming through COVID-19, the volunteers continue to share the story of American agriculture and bridge the distance from their fields to families’ tables, but they’re doing it digitally this summer. CommonGround is an initiative based on starting a conversation between the women who grow food and those who buy it. The goal of all CommonGround volunteers is to talk about their personal experiences on the farm, as well as offer relevant science and research to help consumers sort through the myths and misinformation surrounding their food and how it’s raised.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service